A team of representatives from Assam and Nagaland are all set to organize a “confidence building exercise” involving residents of villages on either side of the border at Merapani, the main point of contention between the neighbours. Mentionably, Merapani,located in Golaghat district shot into fame or rather infamy when around 100 people lost their lives in police firing from either side in the year 1985.
A meeting organised in the Bishnu Nirmala Bhawan in Guwahati saw Citizens organizations from the two states discuss means and ways of improving the strenuous relations between these bordering states. Moreover a delegation of members from these organizations left for Merapani in order to carry out the first grassroots level dialogue involving residents of Merapani tomorrow. Naga Hoho leader H.K Zhimoni, one of the participants in this exercise stated that, “People to people contact just might achieve what official talks had failed to do. “ He further added that the idea was to improve people to people contact and also impress upon the governments of the two states to resolve their differences in an amicable manner.
The participants in the discussion included writer- academician Hiren Gohain, AGP general secretary Hitendra Nath Goswami, former Gauhati University vice chancellor D.P. Baruah, Naga Mother’s Association president Khesheli Chishi and engineer Mukul Mahanta, who is a member of the Ulfa-constituted People’s Consultative Group.
Now it all remains to be seen whether the “people to people contact” venture strikes gold and ushers in a new era of peace and brotherhood between the people of Assam and Nagaland.